Henrik Berg, a Sweden-based entrepreneur and menswear enthusiast, founded the men’s shoe label Morjas. Headquartered and designed in Sweden, Morjas offersQuclients worldwide high-quality Goodyear Welted shoes from Spain. The label’s motto is simple – creating timeless design and delivering a new buying experience to its customers. This stems from its uncompromising emphasis on quality as well as social impact. Part of the proceeds from each purchase goes directly to supporting children via the work of its not-for-profit partner, The Shoe That Grows.
Henrik’s journey of creating Morjas
Henrik’s idea for Morjas started after he graduated business school and started working as an Export Manager. Back then he wore suits on a daily basis.
He shared: “For me it has always made sense to invest in quality that stands the test of time. But I was getting tired of paying for overpriced quality shoes. I learned that the price was highly driven by the business model – the brands I liked (and still do) sell via multiple middlemen such as importers and retailers, and naturally everyone needs their piece of the pie. I started asking around and found out that a lot of other guys were also tired of the situation. So, I decided to do something about it.
Henrik continues: “At Morjas we take a different approach than most shoe brands and sell straight to the customer through our website. No middlemen. No retailers. Just straight to you as a customer. And by skipping these middlemen you avoid the traditional markups and can offer the same high quality without burning a hole in your pocket. We are not re-inventing the wheel, just making things smarter.”
Morjas’ value proposition
Morjas’ motivation and core values can be summarized in the following four points:
1. Timeless design
Morjas create high-quality shoes with a timeless and elegant design. The models and design were essential 50 years ago, they are now and they will for sure be still worn by the next generations to come.
2. Smart business model
Morjas’ main focus is the direct-to-consumer approach by selling straight to its customers via their website only. This allows to sell their shoes at a very affordable price. Another great advantage is that they get to have one-on-one conversations with their customers. This gives a lot of insight in what their customers really want.
3. New experience delivered
Although they offer a timeless shoe collection, the buying experience for the customers shall be new and inspiring. They partner up with X-factor personalities who are the perfect source for style inspiration.
4. Social Mission
They have partnered with ‘The Shoe That Grows’ and donate 1% of the proceeds from each purchase to help children walk in shoes to protect their feet.
Morjas product range
Morjas offers one permanent and one seasonal collection of ready-to-wear shoes. The permanent collection is available throughout the year and includes 9 models. Morjas wants the purchase experience to be straightforward, easy and meet their needs. Therefore, its permanent collection contains the essential classic models in the world of men’s quality shoes:
- Penny Loafer
- Tassel Loafer
- Plain Toe Blucher
- Single Monkstrap
- Double Monkstrap
- Chelsea Boot
- Chukka Boot
You can choose one of the five signature colors/materials for each of those models:
- Black calf
- Burgundy calf
- Brown calf
- Brown suede
- Medium brown suede
Interesting to mention is that the Morjas team has worked a long time to find the right shade of their burgundy calf. It was important for them to not offer red shoes, but rather a deep, deep burgundy. Finally, they have achieved their perfect color: a truly dark shade which has become very popular. Depending on the light, it is sometimes almost hard to tell if the color is black or burgundy.
The seasonal collection includes seasonal favorite drops. For example, this can be one of the models from the permanent collection in another color or material. Once they have also introduced espadrilles which became favorites of customers across the globe.
According to Henrik, a pair of black oxfords or black penny loafers is a definite must-have in every man’s shoe collection. Those models are truly versatile and timeless. With such solid corner stones you can build on your wardrobe from here. He shared “Invest in a few essential quality pieces instead of over-consuming. This is my philosophy in everything, not only shoes. You learn to take care of the things you own and since the items are of high quality they will age beautifully if you handle them with love.”
The design process
The Morjas team is designing the shoes by itself. Basically, it starts its creative process by focusing on the question if a particular model/ design was relevant 50 years ago, if it is relevant today and if it will still be essential in the next 50 years to come. If all of those questions can be answered with a “yes”, then they proceed with the actual drawings. They share those with their lastmaker in Spain, Paco. He is the person who finalizes a professional design. This is the basis for the further steps: choosing the materials, the colors and developing the sample.
The Morjas lasts
Morjas offers its shoes based on two different lasts:
- One last developed especially for its loafers
- The other last developed for its lace-ups and boots
The last for the loafers is made on a rounded toe and a slightly tightened waist for an optimum fit. It took incredible 17 months to create a last which was perfectly satisfying. The effort was definitely worth it, as the Morjas loafer is extremely popular. The Penny Loafer is even the bestselling shoe model in their product range. All the time they have invested in creating what they believe is the ideal version of a penny loafer seems to have paid off. This model is now being worn by customers in countries stretching from Sweden to Germany to the US.
When it comes to the last for the lace-up shoes and boot, then it is similar to the one for the loafers in its aesthetics, but with a slightly more generous fit across the whole shoe. It is also made on a rounded toe which makes it classic, timeless and perfectly balanced.
Further Morjas products
Morjas has just recently launched “The Belt” in its five signature colors as many customers have requested a matching belt to their shoes. For the belts, the brand works with a state-of-the-art factory in a small village outside of Alicante in Spain.
The latest addition to the product ranges is “The Sock”, of course in an over the calf length. Currently, it comes in two colors: black and navy ribbed.
Emphasis on quality
Morjas aims at its shoes being sort of a quiet luxury and offering a timeless design. The team places extremely much time and effort in creating what they believe is the perfect balance and proportions in all their shoes. For each model which they launch, there are on average more than 15 rounds back-and-forth with the factory to do millimeter tweaks just to create the ideal silhouette. At the end of the day they want to offer extremely good-looking shoes that also deliver unrivalled comfort.
All shoes involve around 130 steps from first cut to last finish. Throughout the shoemaking process, over 60 dedicated working stations are passed. The result is a meticulously crafted shoe with a superior quality that is well worth the wait.
Morjas shoes are made using the Goodyear welt technique, which is considered the gold standard of shoe construction. It is named after Charles Goodyear Jr. who invented this production method. Basically, a Goodyear welt is a strip of leather that is sewn around the bottom edge of the shoe and attached to both the insole and the upper. It can be easily unstitched, which then detaches the sole without damaging the rest of the shoe. Therefore, it is a perfect method in case you would need to replace the sole, even multiple times.
Furthermore, a cork filling is applied between the outer sole and the inner sole. Cork is the ideal material for this as it is stiff in the beginning, but your body temperature will heat it up while wearing the shoes. It will then naturally mold and create a tailored shape according to your feet. In addition, the cork is intended to eradicate moist.
Future goals and sales channels
Morjas has a very long-term perspective in their philosophy and the brand prefers to pass on trends and seasons to offer timeless essentials. Their very ambitious long-term vision is to become the #1 go-to brand in the niche of quality shoes.
Short-term and on a daily basis, the team is obsessed with one objective: to deliver WOW to each and every one of their customers.
All Morjas products are available for purchase via their website exclusively. They took this approach since they want to pass on the savings from retail stores and middlemen to the customer. Currently, they sell to an average of 30 countries per month and deliver worldwide.
Henrik, thanks a lot again for all those interesting and exciting insights into Morjas! 😊
Picture courtesy: Morjas